Going West - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-21-2018, 01:12 PM   #1
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Name: Ken
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Going West

Just wondering what is a good time of year to travel To the upper west coast from Pa? Planning a trip in 2019 as this year is planned for the north east. Spring, summer or fall?
Ken
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ken in Pa View Post
Just wondering what is a good time of year to travel To the upper west coast from Pa? Planning a trip in 2019 as this year is planned for the north east. Spring, summer or fall?
Ken
We made a West Coast / Western States tour ( Idaho , Washington , Oregon , California , Nevada and Utah. We started out in late August and returned home in mid October. Weather was great , not to hot and not too cold. Finding campsites was not a problem except on weekends in a few locations .
We found Oregon to be the best part of the trip. Nice , clean State Parks at very resonable prices. Camping in California and Washington state can get rather expensive and didn't fit our budget

Good Luck
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:46 PM   #3
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That sounds like a good time frame. Did you make any reservations before you left? My head is swimming with details for a 8 week trip. Don't know where to start.
Ken
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ken in Pa View Post
That sounds like a good time frame. Did you make any reservations before you left? My head is swimming with details for a 8 week trip. Don't know where to start.
Ken
We left from Northern Wisconsin and had no problem finding campsites in the Dakotas ,Montana and Idaho ( No reservations). We did make reservations at Crater Lake in Oregon and in Northern California. On the way back through Nevada , Utah ,Colorado , Nebraska, Iowa ,Illinois and Wiscinsin we made one reservation, other wise we just winged it.
We try not to drive more then 6 hours per day and we found that if you get to most campgrounds / State Parks by 2 or 3 in the afternoon you can usually get a campsite.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:33 PM   #5
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The last 2 weeks of August and the first t weeks of September are USUALLY great weather in Western Washington and Western Oregon.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:35 PM   #6
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I've lived in western WA State for over 45 years, and if you plan on coming out to the Washington and Oregon coast during the high "camping season", (i.e. beginning in early May - September, and even into October,) advanced reservations are pretty much a necessity. All the coastal parks in both states book solid 9 months in advance, (which is as far in advance that they will accept reservations,) so don't plan on just showing up and finding an open site.

Now, if you are inland a ways, (Central and Eastern WA and OR,) you may get a bit luckier in finding an opening, but without a res, don't even think of trying to stay at any state parks on the coast.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Pa View Post
Just wondering what is a good time of year to travel To the upper west coast from Pa? Planning a trip in 2019 as this year is planned for the north east. Spring, summer or fall?
Ken
Greg's right about the coast if you mean along Highway 101. We reserved for four nights in July at Kalaloch Campground six months in advance, which is the soonest you can book in advance at this particular campground. Kalaloch is part of the Olympic National Park and an extremely popular place. If you look on Recreation.gov you'll see very limited availability at Kalaloch throughout July and August.

Looking just now, there are quite a few options for arriving at Kalaloch from 8/19/18 to 8/21/18 and reserving up to a week, so that's a real improvement. There's also boondocking sites inland in the National Forest and other public lands, and an overflow campground a few miles south called South Beach that's sort of like a big parking lot.

We likewise see limited availability for spaces in the summer at many Washington and Oregon State Parks, most particularly for those with utilities and also on the weekends in general. I'll second Steve in giving the Oregon State Parks a nod for having slightly lower prices.

If you mean the west coast more generally in the sense of the NW states and provinces, I think part of the key for a big trip like this is to reserve on the first possible day of the reservation window for any marquee destinations like Yosemite, and then fill in the surrounding dates with other reservations and/or plans to boondock, Walmart, stay at private parks or whatever fits your style.

Shoulder season before or after the summer can be really nice weather. Mount Rainier and other parts of the Cascade Mountain range will be much more impressive in the spring than the fall (before the snow is melted and dirtied by the summer weather). May weather is not reliable and rains can extend into June on the west of the Cascade range; or it can be really nice some years. September is a bit more reliable. It's all pretty variable.

To be clear, we are not the most experienced at making arrangements for this sort of long-range travel. We have made ten-night trips with reservations, but plan to make much longer journeys in the near future. So, I will be very interested to see replies from the more experienced folks here.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:25 PM   #8
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Going to Fish Creek this year Ken ?
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Pa View Post
That sounds like a good time frame. Did you make any reservations before you left? My head is swimming with details for a 8 week trip. Don't know where to start.
Ken
Start with an "analog GPS" (paper map/Atlas). AAA regional map is a good one. Mark your must stops, see how they connect. Then figure out how long at the must stops, and how many hours you plan to drive on traveling days. Pretty soon you will have an outline for your trip.

And if you have must stops along the way, say Yellowstone, yes, reservations are important. WA State parks are often full up too. If you are flexible where you are staying, don't mind the commercial campgrounds, or primitive stuff, then reservations not as critical.

The other thing about reservations, do you drive long days? We do. Pulling into a campground at 7PM and hoping to get a site is a lot different than pulling in at 2PM.

Our last month long trip out west in 2017, we had reservations on at least 20 of the 31 nights before we left. All of our "critical" nights had reservations (places we knew we had to stay).

And if you are going to swing into Utah to see some of the glorious National Parks, some of the parks, like Zion, are busy year round any more. Utah is on our must stop list any time we go out west, either we go out through Utah or we return through Utah. Its a weather/timing kind of thing. If you want a hook up at Zion, you WILL need reservations, and that means SIX MONTHS in advance. Senior Pass? Camping is half price, an outstanding deal! Easy to spend a week at Zion if you are into hiking or bicycling.

I can see taking the northern route in late August/beginning of September, and coming back through Utah and Colorado end of September into October.

Having lived in western WA for 13 years, May and June were often pretty wet (rainy), September was pretty dry. By October, it was rain season again.

In May some of my favorite parts of Mt Rainier are still closed. Chinook Pass was a road we had to take, typically opened Memorial Weekend or early June.



Found this little city park gem in Idaho on our last trip. Right on the Snake River, convenient to interstate (but not too close), bike path, etc. We didn't have a reservation on this one, but called on the road that day. We just overnighted, might spend a little more time next trip.

http://heyburn.id.gov/index.asp?SEC=...19A&Type=B_JOB
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:52 AM   #10
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There's more about Oregon and Washington travel posted on a recent thread here:

Washington/Oregon and area things to see

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Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
Of all our travels I think Oregon is at the top.
We also like to drive the coast from north to south as all the pull outs are on the coast side.
I have lived out here on the west coast most of my life but never thought of driving north to south making it easier to pull over as I didn't tow a trailer. It sure makes a lot of sense.
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:13 AM   #11
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Fish Creek

mary and bob
Yes we are going to Fish Creek this year. Its been a number of years for us. Chuck and Barb are also coming with us you may remember them. This is our third stop on our way to Maine. Can you make the Tearup? Would like to see you two. Did you know there is a FG gathering in Ohio in September? Will be posted in March I think.
Ken and Pat
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:20 PM   #12
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Fish Creek is not in our plans for this year. We have not been there for the last 3 years because we do a vintage rally in Vermont and a campground in CT with our daughter at about that same time. Thinking about the Algonac Michigan rally in September, but nothing definite yet on that.
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